A cup of cold water
October 26, 2020
When I asked the Lord what to write about this week, I saw in my mind’s eye someone holding a cup of cold water. Immediately I thought of Jesus’ positive words about offering a cup of cold water. My mind also went to a description I’d read this week in a missionary’s email of the hardships and fears Canadian Muslims are experiencing because of COVID. And I thought of a Muslim seeker in my Canadian city who’d seemed to be breaking through to finding Jesus when fears about her cancer got to her and she hired a shaman to heal her – and all hell broke loose. I thought to myself, “They could all use a refreshing cup of cold water, and we Christians are the ones to give it to them.”
Then I looked at the Bible text, Matthew 10:42. I read it in many translations. It didn’t seem to be saying what I had thought it did. Then I read the context (always wise J). The whole of Matthew 10 is Jesus preparing and instructing His disciples to go out and minister. First, He “gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (v 1). Simply put, He gave them superpowers. Next, He instructed them on how to survive as sheep among wolves, expecting persecution without fear, without quitting and without denying Him (vs 5-39).
Finally, He concluded, “Whoever receives you receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him Who sent Me” (v 40) and illustrated with three examples:
- “The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward” (v 41a, see also 2 Chr 20:20 & 2 Ki 4).
- “The one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward” (v 41b, see also Ac 17:10-12).
- “And whoever gives one of these little ones [i.e. His disciples] even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (v 42).
Jesus was warning His disciples to expect they would be rejected and suffer even to the point of doubting their authority to perform miracles and letting them know that He would reward anyone who offered them the very least one can offer for hospitality – a cup of cold water.
Ahh, now I was thinking of a young Pushtun bride I dropped in on for a short visit on her arrival in Canada. She thawed a block of chicken pieces under the tap, cooked them, gave me a feast and packed the leftovers for me to take home to my husband.
I was thinking of a small group who prays for a couple who have a home church for new believers from Islam, who go through seasons of exhaustion from trying to meet all the needs. For them, biweekly prayer is like the refreshing cup of cold water that primes the pump of the Holy Spirit (I borrowed that analogy from a friend).
I was thinking of an MBB intercessor who stays up nights praying for her people, enduring warfare and rising above their rejection because she is so in love with Jesus and refuses to be silent about Him.
Do you know someone who could use a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit? Pray for them and let them know. Send them a care package. Write them a card or text message with a Bible verse you picked just for them.
Has a Muslim, knowing you’re Christian, welcomed you into their home with extravagant hospitality? Bless them. Speak life and shalom into their family.
Before I read the text, I had already taken a photo. It looks like coffee, but it’s really water. Sometimes a cup of cold water is all a person needs.